Twin-turbofan executive transport and multirole aircraftwith US Coast Guard designation: HU-25 Guardian


The Mystere-Falcon 200 twin-turbofan light transport was based on the Mystere 20 design, first flown in prototype form on 4 May 1963. Manufacture of the Mystere-Falcon 200 began with aircraft c/n 401, first flown on 30 April 1980, concurrent with the production rundown of the earlier Mystere-Falcon 20F series, the last of which (c/n 486) came off the assembly line in late 1983. The Model 200 had been introduced, originally as the Mystere-Falcon 20H, at the 1981 Paris Air Show, with AlliedSignal turbofans in place of the F’s General Electric CF700s, larger integral fuel tankage in the rear fuselage, redesigned wingroot fairings, automatic slat extension, and many important systems changes. Certification was achieved on 21 June 1981. One aircraft was built in 1988, completing production of 476 Mystere-Falcon 20s and 38 Mystere-Falcon 200s. Several have been, and are being, converted for specific duties, as listed below, while Mystere-Falcon 20s are eligible for re-engining to 20-5 standard (described separately under the AlliedSignal entry in USA section).


Calibration: There have been 10 Mystere-Falcons, in several different variants, delivered to the French DGAC, French Air Force, and authorities in Spain (designation TM.11), Indonesia and Iran, for navaid calibration. Most are equipped with Dassault-designed high/low-level navigation facility calibration systems, some in the form of a removable console.

Airline crew training: Mystere-Falcon 20s have been used by Air France to train pilots for its jet airliners, with up to five aircraft being used simultaneously. Japan Air Lines also used three of this version.

Quick-change and cargo: A quick-change kit, consisting of an assembly of nets and supports keeps the centre aisle free and allows direct access to nine freight compartments. Total usable volume of these compartments is 6.65 m{3} (235 cu ft), and transformation from executive configuration to cargo configuration, or vice versa, takes less than one hour. A different specific cargo conversion was performed on 33 aircraft in the USA. For both versions the maximum zero-fuel weight of 9,980 kg (22,000 lb) allows a payload of up to 3,000 kg (6,615 lb).

Target towing: A Mystere-Falcon 20 is used by the French Air Force for target towing. It carries a Secapem target on an inboard hardpoint under each wing and a pod containing a winch and cable on each of two outboard hardpoints. Missions of up to 2 hours duration can be flown, cruising at up to 300 kt (555 km/h; 345 mph) at 450 m (1,500 ft) or 270 kt (500 km/h; 310 mph) at 4,500 m (15,000 ft). The hardpoints (650 kg; 1,433 lb inboard, 750 kg; 1,650 lb outboard) can be used to carry alternative stores if required. Sixteen former Federal Express cargo aircraft operated by FR Aviation of the UK provide Royal Navy target facilities with equipment including an RM30A target winch, AN/ALQ-167 radar jammer, BOZ-3 chaff dispenser, AN/ALE-43 chaff/flare dispenser and ATRS-5 radar simulator, all mounted under the wings. Late in 1990, FR acquired five Falcon 20s from the Canadian Forces for conversion and subsequent operation under anticipated French and NATO contracts.

Aerial photography: This version has two ventral camera bays fitted with optical glass windows. It is operated for high-altitude photography, survey and scientific research in several countries. The camera installation can be supplemented by a multispectral scanner and other scientific loads.

Systems trainer: Five aircraft fitted with the combat radar and navigation systems of various Mirage types are in service with the French Air Force for training pilots. These comprise two Mystere 20NAs (Systeme de Navigation-Attaque – equivalent to the Mirage IIIE); and single examples of the 20SNR (Systeme de Navigation-Reconnaissance – Mirage E1-CR) and versions equivalent to the Mirage 2000N and Mirage IV-P.

Ambulance: Up to three stretchers can be accommodated, together with a large supply of oxygen and equipment for intensive care and monitoring of patients. Cabinets near the door are removed to facilitate the loading of stretchers.

Electronic warfare: Canada, Morocco and Norway have been followed by several other nations, including Pakistan and Spain, in operating Mystere-Falcon 20 aircraft modified for ECM duties such as radar and communications intelligence and jamming.

Remote sensing: In 1988, a Falcon 20 owned by Innotech was fitted with infrared mapping equipment supplied by the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing and used for fire-spotting by the forestry authorities in Idaho, USA. Versions of the Falcon 20 supplied to the US Coast Guard have the following designations:

HU-25A Guardian: Basic version delivered in 1982-83 for search and rescue and offshore surveillance. Total of 41 includes modified HU-25Bs and Cs.
HU-25B: Retrospective designation for variant tasked with location of sea pollution and identification of vessels responsible. Equipment comprises one of the six Aerojet Aireye detection systems ordered for the Guardian in the form of a Motorola AN/APS-131 SLAR pod under the forward fuselage, offset, starboard; a Texas Instruments RS-18C linescan unit in a starboard underwing pod; and a laser illuminated TV under the port wing.
HU-25C: Designation of eight Guardians converted to identify and track air or seaborne drug smugglers by means of a fighter type Westinghouse AN/APG-66 radar in the nose, and turret-mounted Texas Instruments WF-360 FLIR. Also fitted with secure HF/UHF/VHF-FM radio communications. Entered service 30 May 1988.


AlliedSignal: 731 Falcon re-engine programme. See separate entry in USA section.
Avcon Industries: Falcon 20 cargo door. See separate entry in USA section.
FR Aviation: See separate entry in UK section.
FR Aviation/Pilkington Optronics: FR Aviation was awarded a contract in December 1996 to retrofit one of its own Dassault Falcon 20 aircraft with a Pilkington Optronics designed and manufactured Optical System and to test fly the aircraft for two years. Contract value Pds750,000.

OPERATORS: Versions of the Falcon 20/200 are in service with the armed forces of the following countries: Belgium (2); Central African Republic (1); Egypt (3); France (14); Iran (7); Morocco (2); Norway (3); Pakistan (1); Portugal (3); Spain (1); Sudan (1); Syria (2); Venezuela (5) and US Coast Guard (41).

DESIGN FEATURES: Cantilever low-wing monoplane. Thickness/chord ratio varies from 10.5 to 8 per cent. Dihedral 2°. Incidence 1° 30′. Sweepback at quarter-chord 30°. Variable-incidence tailplane.

FLYING CONTROLS: Hydraulically actuated airbrakes forward of the hydraulically actuated two-section, single-slotted flaps. No trim tabs on tail.

STRUCTURE: All-metal (copper bearing alloys) fail-safe torsion box structure with machined stressed skin. The fuselage is an all-metal semi-monocoque structure of circular cross-section, built on fail-safe principles. The tailplane is a cantilever all-metal structure, mounted halfway up fin.

LANDING GEAR: Retractable tricycle type, by Messier-Bugatti, with twin wheels on all three units. Hydraulic retraction. Maximum steering angle of nosewheel +-50° for taxying, +-180° for towing.

POWER PLANT: Two Garrett ATF 3-6A-4C turbofans (each rated at 23.13 kN; 5,200 lb st). Optional thrust reversers are produced by Hurel-Dubois. Fuel in two integral tanks in wings and large integral tank in rear fuselage, with total capacity of 6,000 litres (1,585 US gallons; 1,320 Imp gallons).

ACCOMMODATION: Flight deck for crew of two, with airline type instrumentation. Airstair door, with handrail, on port side. Main cabin normally seats nine passengers. Alternative arrangement provides 12 compact seats at a pitch of 76 cm (30 in).

SYSTEMS: Duplicated air conditioning and pressurisation system. Two independent hydraulic systems. Electrical system includes a 9 kW 28 V DC starter/generator on each engine, three 750 kVA inverters and two 36 Ah batteries. Solar T40 APU optional. Wing leading-edges and engine air inlets anti-iced with LP compressor bleed air.

AVIONICS: Collins FCS-80 flight control system standard, with dual Collins EFIS-86C electronic flight instrument system using colour CRTs. Standard avionics include duplicated VHF, VOR, DME and ATC transponder, one weather radar and one radio altimeter.

LENGTH (m) : 17.15
HEIGHT (m) : 5.32
WING SPAN (m) : 16.32
MAX WING LOAD (kg/m{2}) : 354.00
MAX LEVEL SPEED (knots) : 470
MAX RANGE (nm) : 2510